When is the best time of day to take medicines for high blood pressure?

Treatment In the Morning versus Evening (TIME study)

Thomas MacDonald (lead researcher)

Dundee, University of

Start date: 01 September 2014 (Duration 5 years)

High blood pressure is an extremely common condition in the UK. Around one in three adults in England and Scotland have high blood pressure. Many of these patients are prescribed daily medicines (called antihypertensives) that help lower their blood pressure. This helps reduce the risk of these patients going on to have a heart attack or stroke.

A team of top researchers from England and Scotland is collaborating on answering a simple but important question: when is the best time of day to take antihypertensive medicines? Most patients tend to take their medicine in the morning; however, there is some evidence that taking blood pressure tablets in the evening lowers blood pressure throughout the whole night, which in turn may have long-lasting benefits on an individual’s overall blood pressure levels. But the relative pros and cons of taking blood pressure tablets in the evening compared with the morning are unknown.

The British Heart Foundation has awarded more than £1 million to the researchers based at leading institutions in Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Cambridge and London to conduct a 5-year study involving more than 10,000 people with high blood pressure. The participants will be instructed at random to take their blood pressure medicine either in the morning or at night for up to four years.

The health of these patients will be followed during this time by combining information the participants enter into the website with other information such as their hospital records. In particular, the researchers will be looking at the number of people in each group who have a heart attack or stroke in this period, or who die from cardiovascular disease. A smaller pilot of this approach using the website has shown that it can deliver good results to address the researchers’ questions.

Project details

Grant amount £1,059,948
Grant type Clinical Study
Start Date 01 September 2014
Duration 5 years
Reference CS/14/1/30659
Status In progress

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